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Examination of copper electrowinning smoothing agents. Part II: Fundamental electrochemical examination of DXG-F7

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2016, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 14-22

Luyima, A.; Moats, M.S.; Cui, W.; Heckman, C.



Cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and galvanodynamic and chronopotentiometric techniques were used to characterize the effects of DXG-F7®, a commercial smoothing agent, on copper electrodeposition onto 316L stainless steel from a synthetic electrolyte containing 40 g/L copper (Cu2+), 160 g/L sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and 20 mg/L chloride (Cl−) at 40oC. The findings were compared against results using HydroStar® 4208, a modified polysaccharide. The nucleation overpotential and plating potential observed in cyclic voltammetry and galvanodynamic testing showed that neither DXG-F7 nor HydroStar significantly polarized acidic copper electrodeposition. Subtle differences between the additives were found during EIS testing and modeling, but more research will be needed to fully understand these differences. Surface-roughness measurements of two-hour deposits indicate that DXG-F7 and HydroStar produced smoother deposits as their concentrations in the electrolyte increased. No difference in the surface roughness of deposits was detected between the additives. Based on the experimental evidence resulting from the laboratory testing, no significant difference was found between DXG-F7 and HydroStar at 20 mg/L Cl− concentration, with the exception that DXG-F7 dissolves more easily in water than HydroStar.